Santa Clara finished the first half with an 11-0 run and went on to remain unbeaten with a 47-38 victory over George Mason yesterday in Fairfax.
After the Patriots' Jen Surlas hit a jumper to cut Santa Clara's lead to 17-15, George Mason (3-5) went scoreless for the final 6 minutes 29 seconds of the first half as the Broncos (9-0) rolled to a 28-15 lead at the break.
The Broncos led by 17 points in the second half before George Mason went on a 10-1 run to close to 41-36.
But the Patriots managed just one field goal over the final 2:57 of the game, committing four turnovers over that span.
Santa Clara came into the game averaging 78.4 points per game; its 47 points were a season low. George Mason's 38 points were also a season low.
"I'm not disappointed today," George Mason Coach Debbie Taneyhill said. "Santa Clara is a top 25 team and we held them to 48 points. It was a great defensive performance by both teams."
Trish Halpin led George Mason with 12 points. Surlas, the team's leading scorer, was held to seven points. Jill Bartley had nine points and a career-high nine rebounds. Chrissy Todd also grabbed nine rebounds for the Patriots.
Center Annie Garrison scored a game-high 21 points for Santa Clara and also led all rebounders with 10.
The Broncos made 16 free throws to George Mason's three.
* WM. & MARY 77, HOWARD 61: Howard was held to 34 percent shooting from the field and had only two players score in double figures during a loss in Williamsburg.
Regan Carter and Courtney Kirk scored 15 and 12 points, respectively, to lead the Bison (2-6).
Jen Sobota scored 22 points and Mary Ranone added 21 for William & Mary (3-4), which made 27 of 35 free throws.